Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dance-Offs Required, Fools

Set your DVR my little hip-hoppers! Gina's Blog has a new fave TV show and it's about to get raw!

Taking The Stage is MTV's new reality show featuring students at Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts. And it is everything I dreamed my life could be.

It's like Fame, only with actual high-schoolers. It's also Hills-esque in that it's a reality show with a lot of set-ups, but it seems guileless in this incarnation. They're students - albeit driven, talented, hard-working students - but they still have those high school hangups, which is entertaining to watch.

This excellent LA Times review describes the attraction better than I can.

The show's executive producer is Nick Lachey. I always like to see Nick do well ever since that no-talent John-Mayer-dating daddy-obsessed weirdo Jessica Simpson dumped him. (Of course she'd date the creep-a-zoid perve who wrote "Daughters." But I do kinda like her shoes. Whatever.)

Sorry, back to the show!

My adoration thus far has fallen on Tyler, the new kid in school who had the moxie to crash fellow dancer (and total annoying drama queen) Malik's closed dance rehearsal for the talent show. (Except Tyler didn't know it was closed, so what-ever Malik.)

But Tyler gets the last laugh because his dance crew totally out-originals Malik's dance crew. Natch. Then Malik whines like a big, fat diva about his devastating loss. Natch.

This was all in episode one.

Oh yeah! And there's a spontaneous dance-off in the cafeteria during lunch. This is the kind of awesome I want to watch on TV, folks!

In the second episode the rivalry continues at the school dance, which also happens to have a couples dance-off. Yeah, you read that right party people! A couples dance-off - at school!

Tyler and Jasmine (they have a flirty thing going-on) team up to compete against the other couples, including Malik and Shaakira. (Shaakira drops some mature knowledge on Malik and tells him to stop being a sore loser about the talent show.)

But sadly, Tyler and Jasmine come in second at the dance-off, second only to Malik and Shaakira. Outrage!

Folks really. Tyler and Jasmine still should have won (even though Jasmine fell during her flip over Tyler's arm) because Jasmine is a ballerina and was doing hip-hop for the first time. And she still rocked it, with Tyler's teaching of course. :)

Malik is talented yes, but he's no Tyler.

God this show is so good. And it also comes with generic shots of Cincinnati, including the Roebling, Clifton and OTR. Yay!

Tune in Thursday when we find out if Tyler is a playa. I'll try to give a full review. And check out this video to see what you're missing!

("I don't want to talk about this anymore... I just want to dance." Jasmine)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eating Breakfast Is The Best Revenge


The real highlight of the day.

My day ended at about 1 today. That's when I put on sweatpants. (Reunited and it feels so gooood.)

But it's cool because I was up at 8 this morning getting ready for the Heart Mini. Translation: Drinking coffee and sleepily making excuses why I should skip the three miles of torture in the wind and rain and go back to bed. I felt like I had a pretty good excuse - I wasn't feeling well. :)

Last night Adam and I went to see the Ballet's Sinatra Suite & More. It was fantastic, and afterwards we went to Nada.

Nada is seriously my favorite restaurant in Cincinnati. I don't think I could ever get tired of eating there. But let me tell ya... Chips, salsa, guacamole, their rich chicken tacos and creamy poblano mac & cheese all washed down with a potent Nadarita was perhaps not the best idea the night before an early run.

I still felt full when I woke up. Grabbing my belly I groaned to Adam, "Ugh. I feel kinda sick. And it's raining. I think I'll just watch you today." Then he was all, "No. You'll be fine."

God. What a jerk.

I did alright though, pretty much the same as I did last year. Only this year it was rainy, windy and I had to stop and tie my shoes - twice! (These stops added exactly 46 seconds to my time, according to Adam's Garmin.) He ran with me and was supposed to be pacing me to awesomeness, but, note to self, he's not a very good pacer for anyone but himself. All things considered though it was a run/walk victory and I'm glad I didn't punk out. *confetti!*

It seemed like running with me (and having to carry all my crap on his back as we went) was a good warm-up for Adam because he totally dominated the 15k.

Last year he ran it in 1:05 but had been talking smack recently about how he wasn't sure if he'd do as well.

I rolled my eyes and said, "If you're not going to beat your time from last year I don't know why you'd even bother showing up." (Cause I'm supportive, y'all.) (Note: This rule does not apply to yours truly, of course.)

Last month our friend Dave had talked all sorts of trash about crushing Adam in this year's Mini. We were at Dave's birthday party when this went down, and clearly Dave had had a few shots to think such silliness, but I'd had a few Miller Lite's myself so I was all, "You better kiss your momma at the bus stop, Kohake,'cause my man is going to take you to school!"

Then we bet $20.

Adam, feigning disgust that I was intending to make twenty bucks off his conditioning was all, "Wait a second! What are you getting me in to?!" Then Dave and I were all, "Stay out of this, Iker!"

Or something like that.

Anyway, my honor $20 was on the line, so you know, he had to bring it. Aaand he did. Adam sailed to the finish in an easy 1:04 and came out of the chute telling me how great he felt the whole time. (Yeah me too dude. Remember those few moments when I wasn't crying. I felt great in those moments.)

I'm going to spend the $20 he earned me on a Graeter's gift card so we can get strawberry ice-cream waffle cones. Victory!

But who cares about $20 in ice-cream?!

The real highlight of the day for me was watching PJ Ball finish. (Link is to an article about her '04 Flying Pig win.)

About 30 feet from the finish line today she threw her arms up into the air and went to the side of the road and started spitting and gagging. I could see a big string of saliva/vomit/something coming out of her mouth.

Then she squatted down onto her feet, put her hands on the pavement and just let it rip. BLAHHHH! Vomit everywhere. It. Was. Awesome. (It's my dream to some day run so hard that I throw up at the finish.)

Out of nowhere her boyfriend, Swarthy (aka Brian), popped out onto the street and ran over to her yelling, "Are you ok?!" She finished throwing up, started running again and Swarthy patted her on the back like, "All right, go get 'em."

It was the coolest thing I've ever seen at a race.

When I saw them coming out of the chute I practically attacked her. "PJ that was so awesome that you threw up! Wow you're hard core!"

Then I felt kinda bad because she was obviously embarrassed about it. (I can assure you if this ever happens to me I will be beaming with pride.) Apparently it's PJ's thing to throw up at finishes, usually in the chute though, she said. I told her it totally rocked my world and Swarthy noted, "I've never run so hard in my life that I threw up at the end."

We agreed she's freakin' a rock star. Even with throwing up she ran her last mile in 6:48 and finished in the top five among the women. Pa-POW.

After the race Adam and I brunched at Dan and Gretchen's and greedily filled our plates with some of Gretchen's crack-tastic spinach, egg and mushroom casserole. If I could cook I would cook just like Gretchen. Yum.

Once we got home I reenacted PJ's vomit scene for Adam on Stettinius Street, complete with kneeling and sound effects. Adam goes, "I can't believe you didn't get a picture of that. I'm so disappointed in you."

I hung my head in shame. "I'm disappointed in me too."

UPDATE: Adam's take on the Heart-Mini. And in essence, how he kicked its ass.

Friday, March 27, 2009

TGIF! Instant Cruise Edition!



Apparently origami animal towels are a thing on cruise ships. Monkeys, frogs, elephants. Who knew?! (I now know this because several friends just returned from cruises.)

So rush home immediately after work tonight and grab all the towels you can find. Then use this handy video to turn them all into elephants!

When your partner gets home they'll be like, "Whoa, are we on a cruise?!" And you'll be all, "We're on a boat!"


TGIF!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let Me See That Tootsie Roll


Photo by HanksTruckPictures.com

I keep reading all these stories about how now that the economy is in the toilet people are eating more candy, seeing more movies and buying more lipstick.

We're all so sad about being broke we're comforting ourselves with empty calories, escaping reality at the theater and gussying ourselves up with lip paint.

Sounds good to me!

Except that I'm not sure I actually believe these reports. It seems more likely that the PR machines at Hershey, Paramount and L'Oreal are sending out press releases to reporters who just need a byline to get their editor off their freakin' back. A trend piece on what consumers are buying during the economic crises? JACKPOT! (Whoa, where am I? What just happened? Am I in the newsroom?)

I know reporters and I seriously doubt they're at their desks crunching lipstick, candy and movie trend numbers to verify these reports. Crunching candy bars, fo' sho'. But sales trends? Ha!

Diane Campbell, owner of the Candy Store in San Francisco says her customers “put candy in their actual budget” now.

Haha! Yeah right lady, we know you just said something crazy so you could get quoted.

I mean, really. Really?

First of all, who on earth would eat so much candy that they'd have to budget for it? It must be those AIG dudes since they're the only ones with enough money to afford an actual "candy budget." And second, if people do have a candy budget then the economy is the least of their worries. (Hellooo diabetes!)

All of this makes me want to rebel. The man wants me to buy candy and see movies? Forget it! I can't be subconsciously manipulated into empty calories and box office numbers!

Ahh hell, who I am kidding? I DO want to eat my body weight in Bit-O-Honey! And I DO want new lipgloss!

After I finish gorging on annoying trend pieces, Tootsie Rolls and I Love You, Man, I'm going to start my own consumer blog. I'll call it Weapons of Massive Consumption and I will write really trite knowledgeable money saving gems like, "Drop your gym membership and do push-ups at home. It's free!"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Who's Excited?!

I just reserved two tickets to the Cincinnati Ballet's Sinatra Suite & More for this weekend, and guess who gets the luxury of accompanying me to the ballet?

Adam! Adam's the big winner!

Celebrated Broadway choreographer Twyla Tharp's sensual, humorous and tipsy 1984 Sinatra Suite, drawing on the moods and moves of Frank Sinatra's enormously popular songs in their original recorded versions, anchors Cincinnati Ballet's Sinatra Suite + More, four delightful ballets on one program.

He's going to be sooo stoked.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sandcastles And Sun



Just home from 5 days of sun and sand and I can honestly say... It was awesome. My top five favorite awesome moments:

1. Jet Skiing across the Gulf. Actually we were on a Wave Runner, but whatevs. I've always wanted to rent a Jet Ski and send sea water flying behind me. And with a little nudge from Adam, we were off - wave running across the ocean, bouncing off boat waves and taking turns too fast. It was SO fun. As the salt-water was spraying into my face and the sun was high above us sparkling off the ocean I thought, This is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now. It was one of those exhilarating moments that reminds you how great it is to be alive. Wee!

2. Breakfast on the balcony. We rented a condo-like hotel room, which turned out to be a fantastic idea. Instead of having to find some place for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not to mention pay for all those meals out) we were able to make breakfast and dinner in our fully equiped kitchen and eat on our balcony. Coffee, eggs and bacon taste much better with an ocean view.

3. Flying kites on the beach. What fun! I haven't flown a kite since... ever? But apparently this is something Adam always does at the beach. He got us two kites for $1. (Who knew the dollar store rocked so hard?) At first I was all, "Why do you get the awesome dragon kite and I have the stupid Tinkerbell kite?" But when Tinkerbell immediately took flight and looked so cute soaring over the beach I got so attached I refused to let it go even long after the sunset. Eventually I agreed to hook it to a hobie cat so I could watch it fly from the hotel room.

4. Swimming in the ocean. I didn't think I'd end up getting in, but after sitting in the cabana with no breeze hitting me for about, ohh... 30 minutes, I got so hot I practically ran into the water. (Think Baywatch minus the implants, tan and floatation device.) Later I tried to get Adam to go night swimming with me but that was a no-go. "You've seen JAWS haven't you?!" was his answer.

5. Watching the space shuttle Discovery launch. It was as if time stopped for a few minutes. Everyone stood frozen and staring into the sky, watching it ascend from the horizon. It was lovely too, as the white plume of shuttle gas turned orange in the sunset.

The one disappointment of the trip (other than flying Air Tran, for real, don't do it, ever) was that the Willie Nelson concert we had tickets to was postponed due to illness. We'll try to catch ya later, Willie. Feel better!

It's Friday Y'All!



I'm back from the sunny skies of Florida folks, and just in time for this week's TGIF video. Woo hoo!

While enjoying a cold beverage at the Undertow beach bar I shot some footage of these buff dudes playing volleyball and slapping high- and low-fives to Kenny Loggins. Please enjoy the glistening skin, gratuitous flexing and really, really tight jeans.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm Walkin' on Sunshine WHOAA-OHHH!



TGIF!!! (The rubbing-it-in edition.)

As of 5 o'clock today I will be on vacay for a whole week! That means 83ยบ and sunny where I'll be folks. Don't hate. Ease your pain with this deliriously fun Katrina and the Waves song.

OW! (First lyric.)

Monday, March 09, 2009

I Have To Make the President Proud



My dream of a being an Olympian is looking like it might not come true. (Damn.) But my dreams of a gold medal are still alive. (Woo hoo!)

Today I "logged-in" for the President's Challenge, formerly known as the The Presidential Physical Fitness Award. It's not just for elementary school kida anymore, people. It's "grown up," the site says.

My mom will be thrilled. When they'd give me my certificate and patch announcing I had passed the President's Physical Fitness Award my mom bragged on me like I was an Olympian. (Ok, looking back maybe she just wanted me to think I was an Olympian. It totally worked. Thanks mom!)

Instead of Mr. Coleheap vouching for my athletic prowess I enter my activities into the site's nifty activity log. Already I've logged my "activities" for last weekend. To get the bronze award I need 20,000 points. I'm only 18,890 points away!

Looking to check out the awesome medals I'm sure to get in the mail in the next month or so, I clicked on the "earn awards" link and this message popped up:

"Hey! The President's Challenge is about staying active - not sitting in front of a computer. Get out and find something fun to do! We'll still be here when you're done."

Damn. I guess I better get a move on.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor



Before: Forced smiles. Neatly combed hair




After: Real smiles. Sweaty hair.

And We're Back. With New Friends!


Dean, Gina and Jason.

Never, ever doubt Stella. In spite of being stowed away for the last 4 months she fired right up Saturday afternoon.

My friend Jason got a new Harley on Friday, and since he can't go over 50 until it's primed he slummed it with Dean and me. Our scooters really bring out the bad-ass in his Chopper I think.

Yeah, we rolled to Graeter's in Newport. What?!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Biking Shorts AND High Heels?! TGIF!!



Since last week's TGIF video was a downer it's only right to go extra awesome this week. Consider it done.

Soul Train Line + Michael Jackson + 80s dancing = SMOOOOTH (Criminal)

Monday, March 02, 2009

I'm On Fire

I've worked out every day in March.

I don't think you're ready for this jelly.

Shooting Up



A month or so ago I got a cortisone shot in my spine.

I told the doctor I wanted a photo of the needle, so after the injection (he wouldn't do it before for fear that if I saw the needle beforehand I might flip or something) he staged a little area for the needle's photoshoot.

But as I was taking pictures he kept art directing me, "You need to zoom in. Get closer on the needle. Shoot it this way." Finally I handed him my camera and told him to do it. He was right, his photos were better than mine. So photo credit to this this guy.

The shot was supposed to untrap a nerve in my back. It didn't work though.